With the devastating resolution to the conclusion of the conflict between Shunsuke’s organization and the international terrorists, it seems like things have spiralled out of control for Charlotte in the penultimate episode. However, Charlotte doesn’t take any time to properly fix up the loose ends up in the background of the it opts for an easy and somewhat all-too-random ending where Yu uses his “plundering” superpowers to steal the powers/sickness of every person IN THE WORLD. You might think this is a fruitless endeavour because more people are being infected every day however he soon amasses enough abilities to plunder the abilities of people who have been infected by the Charlotte particles but not yet manifested superpowers of their own. Yu travels the world from country to country, from safe cities to war zones, political unstable areas, forests and even deserts, there are virtually no limits to where he goes and we see him travel for god knows how long, barely clinging onto his sanity before he plunders the entire world’s superpowers. It was a nice touch that the small stack of cue card messages from Tomori that hung around Yu’s neck helped him keep his promise to return to her till the end.
Episode thirteen drags on as Yu continuously collects superpowers. We don’t see much of anything else beyond his worldwide adventures and just as he’s about to collapse and die in a back alley after plundering the last power, his brother Shunsuke arrives to collect him. When Yu wakes up safe and sound in a hospital back in Japan he’s forgotten everything he used to know and he once again reintroduces himself to Tomori who he’s agreed to romantically be with. Props to Tomori for waiting for Yu despite his grandiose mission of plundering abilities (no matter how long it might have taken). Yu is really sweet to Tomori in this first meeting and it works out much smoother than that first kick to the face Tomori gave him when they met at the beginning of the series. Yu reunites with his friends and everyone he used to know, brightly looking forward to the future.
The entirety of Charlotte, much like the directing style in Angel Beats was immensely rushed. Certain slice of life scenes were all too dragged out while twist plot events weren’t given enough depth in explanation nor panned out for the audience to digest properly before moving on. Character development was minimal and Tomori was barely spotlighted as the main female protagonist. Rather, she was mostly used as a plot device to serve as Yu’s motivation towards the end of the series. Fun characters like Misa/Yusa and Takajou were sidelined for the random deaths towards the end of the series. I’d like to have seen more scenes depicting interactions between the Otosaka siblings because aside from the constant repetitive time jumps from Shunsuke’s perspective, the sibling love/bond really fell short for me. The wild card in the series was really the Zhiend band which links Tomori with Yu and Yu with his past during the time skip. Yu meeting the vocalist of Zhiend had been a straightforward ploy to give Tomori’s brother some make shift conclusion. Shunsuke’s grief is never truly resolved after the death of his right hand man and best friend, Kumagami. As well, Ayumi really had no purpose in the events of the series beyond plot device.
Charlotte sets out to do a lot of things and it had so much potential with its original premise. However, there were serious time constraints and WAYYYYY too much plot in this world for the thirteen episodes to even begin to unfold. Charlotte could have benefitted from a lot more character interaction and exploration. Perhaps shelving the slow-going slice of life beginning and allotting more time for the political or external conflict would have given the series more depth in the twist rather than constantly jumping back forth between time periods. Overall though, an interesting anime premise that just disappointed in execution. Better luck next time Director Asai-san.
What are you pondering today?